Monday, November 3, 2014

Attraverso il Piemonte

IMG 6703
Via Leopoldo Agnes 21, Susa, November 3, 2014—
WE STARTED OUT YESTERDAY in Monferrato, sorry to leave but secure knowing we will return. We drove, convoy-style, often on back roads per Waze's advice, to Bra; and then it was time for a midday degustation.

One doesn't work one's way through five or six wines without a little something to eat, so we ordered a typical light Piemontese snack, as you see: Russian salad, carne cruda, vitello tonnato. These were all perfectly fine. Probably not made in house; possibly the better for that. The main thing was the wines:

Spumante, Az. Agr. Gian Paolo Viglione, 2010 (clean, not too much personality, pleasant);
Arneis, Careglio (Roero), 2013 (true to type and refreshing);
Barbera d'Alba, Taliano, 2013 (corked);
Nebbiolo d'Alba, Battaglino, 2012 (smooth and fairly rich);
Nebbiolo d'Alba, Cascina Val del Prete, 2011 (very nice, rich and deep, changing pleasantly in the glass)
IMG 6707Oh: and, of course, bonet.

•Ristorante Enoteca Garibaldi, Via Garibaldi, Bra; +39 0172/55.23.2
THEN WE HAD a coffee and drove on to Susa for the night (and the next night), where we called up one of Lindsey's cousins to see if he and his wife were free for the night. Yes: They were going out to dinner in a few hours; did we want to come along?

We have spent a number of nights in Susa over the years — it's the main town in the valley where Lindsey's father was born, 110 years ago — but we've never really explored the restaurants in the city itself. We were pleasantly surprised by this one, a lively place with a full bar, a calm dining room off to the side, and a marvelous couple of wine cellars deep and deeper underground beneath the whole affair.

IMG 6719We made a trip down there to select the night's red wine, then headed back upstairs to the street level to sample a very nice Spumante whose name, alas, I never did get. Too bad, as I'd like to have a bottle of it; it was yeasty and politely assertive, almost like a nonvintage Champagne.

Dinner came in a number of courses: a fine plate of salume; sformati of vegetables in egg custard; little cubes of fried cheese; a platter of clams and mussels curiously breaded with a curry mixture; vitello tonnato it goes without saying; and finally a very fine plin, those little agnolotti- or raviolini-like pinched cubes of pasta, filled with a meat ragoût subtly flavored with herbs. Whew. This has been a serious three days; good thing we have only two more of them!
Barbaresco, 2008, but whose? In the hilarity of our macaronic conversation and joking I forgot to get a photo of the label! I'll try to find out and get back here with the information…
Oh: and desserts, of course — and no bonet! Just a fine hazelnut cake, Tiramisu, a pear muffin of all things, a delicious soft custard, and a ricotta cake laced with dried fruits and rum and another local cheese that once again brought medieval cookery to mind…

IMG 6729
•Osteria della Marchesa, Via Montenero, 4, Susa; +39 0122.32803

No comments: